“The most supernatural thing that has ever happened to me was becoming a Bollywood hero” – Akshay Kumar

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Akshay Kumar is one of the biggest stars in Bollywood and is known for not only his amazing stunts but also for his acting ability and his desire to make good films. With each new film he explores different characters and genres of film. That was seen most recently in his performance in the psychological thriller 8×10 Tasveer. BollySpice now brings you an interview Akshay gave on all things 8×10 Tasveer.

Tell us more about your role in the film?

Jai is a very serious Canadian forest ranger, there’s almost a disturbingly eerie feel about him. He experiences an almighty trauma as a child which haunts him through childhood, enabling him to have a psychological 6th sense… but like any man it takes a woman to make him feel alive inside, for richer or poorer till death do they part…

What was it like working with your co-stars especially Ayesha and Sharmila Tagore?

It was my first time acting with Ayesha and I must say she is an extremely good actress… very sweet, always professional, even when she was afraid of the water she composed herself very well. It would be a pleasure to work with her again. And our beloved Sharmilaji who’s playing my mother, what a sweetheart. I remember having posters of her and now I’m starring with her. She’s such a darling

So how was it working with Nagesh Kukinoor? Are the speculations true about the sour feelings between you?

Not at all… You see, what people need to remember is I’m at work to make good cinema, not to make lifetime partners with people. We had a job to do and both Nagesh and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. It was like forcing a person who’s afraid of heights to jump out of a 10 storey window, that’s how hard it is for me to be psychologically involved in a deeply unnatural character. But I salute his determination, man how persistent he was to get me to do it his way, I’m seriously so impressed with that man, he may not allow us to play cricket on set, but since the day shooting was over we’ve done nothing but laugh about our journey. Nagesh has a brilliant personality, but I agree, when it’s work it’s work…

Do you believe in the supernatural?

Listen, I’m gonna be honest with you, the most supernatural thing that has ever happened to me was me becoming a Bollywood hero… Though I do know a few people that have had extraordinary circumstances happen in their lives, I’m afraid I’m not one of them. I’m not saying it’s a myth, but I’m not going to sit here and lie to you about some random hocus pocus, just because I have a movie releasing. I’m not doing this movie because I think it’s real, I’m doing it because I fell in love with the script and the concept. At the end of the day it’s just a movie. It’s a group of creative pro’s working together to produce 2 hours of different cinema, in a genre that even I never saw myself doing.

What was it like working with Bohemia again?

Bohemia is an extremely talented artist, he is the ‘Punjabi Rap Star of all rappers,’ his voice is like no other, his beats are so hardcore, but it’s his lyrics that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand. Which is why we’ve put subtitles through the video of 8×10 because it’s so important that people understand the words to the song so they can really connect to our vision… We gave him a one page concept of the film and within 3 days he came back with a song that blew us all away. I swear he couldn’t have made a better connection for love or money, that’s how talented he is…

Do we get to see any of those famous Akshay stunts in the film?

Strangely enough, even though this is a psychological thriller, I still happened to be throwing myself over a 200 foot cliff and being pushed off the back of a boat with my hands chained behind my back while being left to drown at the bottom of a lake. It’s amazing how much action can go into thrillers that even I wasn’t aware of… . And you think my director was ever going to let me get away with just acting in this one!!!

What was it like filming in Canada? This movie took a long time to shoot, why was that?

Ah various reasons, we weren’t jinxed or anything, a lot of people would say that shooting a thriller can be like shooting yourself in the foot. It wasn’t as dramatic as that, we shot such a large portion in Calgary in Canada, but then we had a lot of weather issues when we travelled to the mountains in Banff, so most of us were evacuated from there and flown back to Bombay. It wasn’t an easy shoot to do anyway, it’s very much a Canadian movie as well as an Indian movie, we had a lot of international actors/ production/ and so on, so the whole schedule becomes time consuming. Plus I was backed up with prior commitments so finding dates for everyone was a hard task, but hey, from the words of Nagesh himself, “One can’t rush perfection, can one!!”

What is your favourite song in the film? We hear you have sung a song?

The song sung by Bohemia… .and no I haven’t sung any song…

Supernatural movies seem to be the fashion recently, how do you feel 8×10 will work?

I would and wouldn’t call 8×10 a supernatural movie. I’m not playing Superman or Batman, nothing like that, ‘I have a secret’ – a 6th sense, shall we say!! This by far a psychological thriller … When it comes to movies like mine, no matter how great the effects are I feel it’ll never work without that killer script/screenplay. Audiences have seen so many special effects now that I reckon it’s emotions they want to feel, rather than Oooing and Ahhhing at the screen. That’s where my confidence lies in this movie, the screenplay has blown me away, it had to, or I wouldn’t have attempted something so extreme for me…

How does Akshay Kumar jump from senseless to serious?

It ain’t easy believe me… Because basically I live like a child, I make my work fun, my training fun, and my play time even funnier. I really enjoy making even the saddest of people ‘laugh’, because apart from money it’s all I have to give in life. That’s why I was in my element in ‘CC2C’, regardless of any outcome. But I had already signed a psychological thriller and was halfway through filming. What a split personality I had to have, one month it was like a teddy bears’ picnic, the next I was trying not to slit my wrists… 8×10 is a genre I’ve never touched before, to be so deep in thought, so negative, literally dead inside everyday was agony for me. So I’m hoping all those out there that wanted to see me in a different light, I pray I’m giving them what they are asking for. Let’s hope I don’t lose my funny fans along the way ay!!…

The film seems to be quite off-beat and unconventional in Bollywood terms. Which types of audiences do you feel the film will appeal to?

It’s very rare that you see a movie that scares you, intrigues you, and plays with your mind. Though I know it doesn’t appeal to everyone, there are people that have been in the industry for years who I know wouldn’t dream of seeing a slightly scary movie, but I also know people out there that are dying to watch something gripping, it’s each to their own. of all people, I know that you can’t cater to everyone’s needs…

The film is in theaters now so be sure to check it out!

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